|05-13-2007, 05:13 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in my cups... lol
Katrina Aid Program $2.9 Billion Short
"Katrina Aid Program Is $2.9 Billion Short
Uncertainty Plagues La. Homeowners
By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 12, 2007; Page A02
NEW ORLEANS, May 11 -- The massive federally funded program for rebuilding Louisiana homes is short nearly $3 billion, administrators told a state legislative panel here today, leaving uncertain for now how the owners of roughly 100,000 flood-wrecked houses here will be compensated.
The report represented the latest crisis for the aid effort initially created to distribute $6.9 billion in federal money to the owners of homes destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina who lacked enough insurance money to rebuild.
More than 20 months after the Katrina catastrophe, tens of thousands of houses remain vacant, in part because of administrative delays in the aid program, the largest single source of direct federal help for homeowners. To date, only 16,000 of 130,000 applicants have received money.
State officials said they had already turned to Washington leaders for more help, but whether that will be forthcoming is unclear
The Road Home program was developed after hurricanes Rita and Katrina in negotiations between state officials, the White House and the Gulf Coast recovery coordinator. After months of delays, it was approved in July 2006.
As designed, the program promised as much as $150,000 for homeowners to rebuild their storm-wrecked residences here. But then the bureaucratic delays set in, and they continue today. For months, frustrated applicants, many of them living in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers, have been waiting for a check so that they can complete their repairs.
The shortfall arose, state officials said, largely because far more homes were damaged than had been estimated, and the magnitude of the uninsured damages has been greater than anticipated, Kopplin said.
In reaching their aid figure, they relied on FEMA estimates that showed 120,000 homes with "major" or "severe" damage. Kopplin added that the state had asked originally for $9 billion for homeowners, but that fell in negotiations with Powell.
"FEMA spent a ton of money inspecting houses," Kopplin said. "They had the most robust data at the time. We negotiated on the basis of 120,000 homes."
By last month, the number of Road Home applicants had exceeded that estimate. There are now 133,000 applicants, with many more expected. More than 700 applications were received in a day last week."
|05-14-2007, 07:56 AM||#2|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
I know a way to raise some of that money:
How about that proposed windfall profits tax on oil companies?
(OK - at least you can't say I don't have a sense of humor.)